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Beyond What to Expect – Part I

Posted Oct 08 2009 10:01pm

I am so touched by the small but incredibly appreciated group of people who follow my story.  I knew that I had dropped off the radar with nary a word and thought about and meant to and really wanted to respond to the people who reached out via e-mail to check in (thank you!!), but never did.   Because I didn’t know what to say.  Given that, I knew I had no right to expect anyone to read much less offer such amazing support when I finally turned back to this space. The fact that you did moved me beyond words. I don’t know how often I’ll write, but I promise not to just disappear again. If I decide to take a break or even stop blogging, I’ll be upfront and honest about that.

Truth be told, I actually wrote my previous entry about a month before I posted it. However, almost everything in there holds true today although I am starting to see a light on the horizon. The last post was by design a very vague outline because I wasn’t ready to talk about the specifics when I originally wrote it.  Now, I’d like to fill in some of the details.  I apologize in advance for the negative and seemingly complaining tone of the next couple posts.  I want to be as honest as I can about what’s transpired these past few months both as a way to document the experience and also to provide some context for my absence.   I offer my sincere apologies to anyone I may offend who is struggling and waiting for the blessing of pregnancy and a child.  Please know that despite the experience I’ve had and the fact that thus far it has been dramatically different than the blissful glow of impending motherhood I envisioned, I am extremely grateful that we are in the position we are and continue to hope and pray for all that are in the throes of the struggle.

When we learned I was pregnant after our 3rd attempt at IVF, we were thrilled beyond words.   I actually knew before the beta thanks to copious use of pee sticks. I’ll never forget the catch in my throat and the heart stopping moment when the 2nd line made its way across the display window.   That said, I wasn’t exactly in a hugely celebratory mood as I was in the throes of moderate OHSS.    (To all those out there who have suffered through severe OHSS, my never-ending sympathies are with you as this was one of the most painful things I have ever experienced.) Ultimately, after essentially being bedridden for a couple of weeks because I couldn’t stand up straight much less walk or even breathe, Dr. Yacht made the decision to do a “tap” in which they drained the fluid from my abdominal cavity. They took 2 litres and the relief was almost instantaneous. Usually people have to be re-tapped at least once, but I got lucky and the OHSS completely cleared within the next week or so. Only to be followed by a very sharp pain and bleeding…and panic. We rushed to the clinic where they found a sizable subchorionic hemorrage (SCH). My doctor doesn’t believe in bedrest for SC bleeds, so we were left to just wait it out and see what happens. Fortunately, the little nugget hung on and the clinic and OB were good about giving us frequent ultrasounds to check in on things.  While it took until Week 14 for the SCH to clear (with off and on but always terrifying bleeding throughout that period), it’s now thankfully gone.

Shortly after the onset of the bleed, I began feeling more pain … and here’s where it gets into a bit too much TMI.  The pain was reminiscent of the worst UTI I have ever had combined with a nasty case of hemorrhoids except the pain was deep and internal.  My unmentionable parts were in agony.  After multiple highly embarrassing doctor visits including one with my OB, whom I’d never met prior to that appointment but who told it me it was all in my head (nice), no cause was ever found. It didn’t present like any pregnancy or OHSS symptom that everyone had ever heard of but was debilitating none the less. Again, I basically didn’t move for a couple of weeks.  My sofa now has a perma-groove shaped precisely to the outline of my not so slender self.  Then, as suddenly as it started, it stopped. At that point, we were near the end of the first trimester and starting to get a little bit of the excitement back. We even went out and bought the ubiquitous What to Expect… book.  And then…first trimester screening proceeded to rock our world and we’re still digging out.  More on that in the next post.

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